Reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

April 30, 2013

For Immediate Release

April 30th, 2013

Reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Ottawa, ON – Recently, the Federal Government announced that reforms will be made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW Program) to ensure that the program is indeed helping to fill genuine and acute labour needs, as it was designed to do.

Acting on proposals for reform to the TFW Program in Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government will make legislative, regulatory and administrative changes that will:

– Require employers to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage by removing the existing wage flexibility

– Temporarily suspend the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process

– Increase the Government’s authority to suspend and revoke Work Permits and Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) if the program is being misused

– Add questions to employer LMO applications to ensure that the TFW Program is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs

– Ensure employers who rely on temporary foreign workers have a firm plan in place to transition to a Canadian workforce over time through the LMO process

– Introduce fees for employers for the processing of Labour Market Opinions and increase the fees for work permits so that the taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the costs

– Restrict English and French as the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement

“The purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program was to allow employers to have the opportunity to fill labour shortages on a temporary basis with the goal of moving to a Canadian workforce,” said Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. “I am very pleased to see that these reforms will be enacted so that the TFW Program will operate in the way that was it designed and intended to operate.”

As part of the review of the TFW Program, the Federal Government will hold cross-Canada consultations over the coming months with businesses, industry and trade organizations, unions and others on additional changes to the Program.